Beginning with the Fall 2015 semester, Housing and Residence Life will implement a pilot project which will allow returning, undergraduate students, who are of at least18 years of age, to request a roommate regardless of the students’ sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression in two residence halls. Students must opt-in to be assigned in this program. If you and a prospective roommate are interested in this option, please read the following information carefully and ask questions if needed.
This program will be piloted in Pritchard Hall and New Hall West. Rooms will be designated for the program according to demand and availability.
Students interested in returning to on-campus housing for the following year enter the Housing Application Process ("the housing lottery") during the January 2015 entry period. Housing contract offers are made on or about February 1, 2015. Students must have a standard housing/dining contract to participate in this option. Conditional contract holders cannot participate as their assignments are made late in the summer. Note, students may link together in the housing lottery using the Lottery Pair option regardless of the students’ sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression so potential roommate pairs receive the same lottery results.
Roommate pairs applying for this program must submit the application form no later than March 1, 2015. Assignment into the program will be by application-receipt order. While we expect to be able to offer this option to most students who request it, we are unable to guarantee an assignment under this option due to its first-year, pilot-project status.
Roommate Conflict: The best way to avoid roommate conflicts is to have roommates proactively discuss expectations of each other and the shared living space. This includes guests/visitors, expectations regarding privacy, cleanliness, shared items/food, etc. One of the best tools to avoid conflict is a roommate agreement. Students in on-campus housing are expected to complete a roommate agreement. When/if disagreements occur, it is best to talk about them as soon as appropriately possible. If needed, assistance initiating a difficult or uncomfortable conversation with roommate(s) is available from the resident advisor or Residence/Student Life Coordinator (RLC/SLC). Sometimes it is not ideal to remain roommates. If that is the best option, students may pursue a room change to another room. It is likely that this would be a traditional, gender-assigned room. It is highly unlikely that a completely empty room would be available in the system at any point in the academic year.
If a roommate cancels their housing or moves out of the room for any reason, the remaining roommates must identify a new roommate to fill the vacancy within 2 weeks (1 week if the campus is in an over-occupancy situation). If the space is not filled by this date, Housing and Residence Life may fill the remaining empty bed with a student of the same sex. All students in on-campus housing are expected to accept and welcome a new roommate as assigned by Housing and Residence Life per the terms and conditions of their housing/dining contract.
Housing and Residence Life reserves the right to consolidate space as needed to maximize effective use of on-campus space and may change assignment after notice to the affected student as per the terms of the housing/dining contract. For example, if the assignment of a new roommate into a former gender neutral space might create conflict within the hall or not be reasonable due to the location of the bathroom facilities, the remaining roommate may be required to relocate.
Housing and Residence Life strongly discourages students of any sexual orientation who are in a relationship from living together in a residence hall room; however, we do not question the student’s intentions for wanting to live in the Flexible Housing option. Our expectation is that roommate matches last the entire academic year and for the roommate match to be just one of many relationships formed within and outside of the living community.
It is the student’s choice to communicate with family members about the decision to live in a flexible housing environment. Housing and Residence Life encourages this conversation between family members and students about the housing choice so that they can be in support of the student’s decision.
It is our hope that students who engage in this housing option will be willing to provide feedback through surveys and/or focus groups as we evaluate this pilot program.
For students who have not achieved 18 years of age or are incoming first-year students, yet find the traditional binary gender room designations to not match their needs, information would be posted directing those, mostly incoming, students to contact our office so that we may continue our process of individual accommodation. Please contact either Kenneth Belcher, senior associate director for housing services, or Katie Karpa, assistant director of housing services, at (540)231-6205
To apply for this option, download the Flexible Housing Application Form.